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Board 01 A STUDY OF THE DIET AND GROWTH RATE OF SILVER CHUB, MACRHYBOPSIS STORERIANA, IN THE WESTERN BASIN OF LAKE ERIE. Sheri D. Klingensmith,, (Nicholas E. Mandrak,, Youngstown State University, One University Plaza, Youngstown OH 44555.

The once abundant Lake Erie population of Silver Chub, Macrhybopsis storeriana, suddenly began to disappear in the 1960% almost to the point of extirpation. However, the abundance of Silver Chub in the western basin of Lake Erie has recently increased. Preliminary data suggest that their reemergence may be related to the increased numbers of Hexagenia mayflies. It is believed that Hexagenia has returned to the western basin as a result of cleaner, well-oxygenated water and sediments. We hypothesize that the reemergence of Silver Chub is a result of the increased numbers of Hexagenia in Lake Erie. To test this hypothesis, the growth rates and diets of Silver Chub netted in the western basin of Lake Erie in 2000 are being compared to those Silver Chub studied by Edward Coyle Kinney in the 1950's before their disappearance. According to Kinney's data, Hexagenia comprised 51.1% of the adult diets in the months of August and September. To determine if the diet of the Silver Chub has changed since the 1950's gut content analysis is being performed on specimens collected in August and September of 2000. Initial observations indicate that Silver Chub are consuming higher amounts of zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, than Hexagenia.

Board 02 PRESENT STATUS OF THE UPPER LITTLE MIAMI RIVER FISH FAUNA. Ted M. Cavender,, Matt J. Greene, Marc R. Kibbey, The Ohio State University, Museum of Biological Diversity, 1315 Kinnear Rd., Columbus OH 43212-1192.

One of Ohio's finest rivers, the Little Miami, drains a 1755 sq. mi. (4500 sq. km.) area in southwestern Ohio. It is Ohio's first designated state and federal Wild and Scenic River that holds about 70% of the native fish species found living in state waters. The upper portion of the drainage (17% of the total drainage area) lies in Greene and Clark Counties and extends north of a line formed by southern Xenia Township. Massies Creek and Beaver Creek are included in this headwater system. A total of 58 fish collections were made within the upper drainage with the purpose of determining the present status of the fish populations. Funding was provided by the Division of Wildlife Ohio Wildlife Diversity Program. ODNR-DOW District 5 cooperated with personnel and equipment to assist in collecting many of the sites. All sites where fish were previously collected (historical sites) were sampled during this project. Of the nearly 80 species previously recorded for the upper drainage, only 50 were located, or about 63% of the original fauna. The threatened tonguetied minnow was among the missing species. The upper watershed is largely agricultural with very few municipalities that discharge into the river. Intensive row crop agriculture with accompanying surface runoff has impacted the headwater system. Most changes to the fish fauna occurred over a period of about forty years following a survey completed in 1957. New additions to the Little Miami fauna made by this study consisted of introduced species rather th an native forms. For example, the northern studfish, Fundulus catenatus, was found at 12 collection sites in the Little Miami River and its tributaries of Xenia Township. This species has now firmly established itself in the drainage and is currently expanding its range.

Board 03 CONTROL MECHANISMS OF SYLLEPTIC BRANCHING IN POPULUS. Dong-II Kim,, (Morris G. Cline,, The Ohio State University Plant Biology Department, 1735 Neil Ave., Columbus OH 43210.

The axillary buds of woody plants do not grow out during the season in which they are formed. They flush in the following spring. However, in Populus and in many tropical species, some axillary buds grow out sylleptically, i.e., they grow out during the same season in which they are formed. This type of branching enhances photosynthetic leaf area and total tree growth. The cause of sylleptic branching is unknown. The long-range goal of this study is to elucidate the control mechanisms of sylleptic branching. Presently, attempts are being made to determine the cause and effect relationship between the growth of the parent shoot and the amount of sylleptic branching. Three hybrid clones (11-11,47-174, and 49-177) of P. trichocarpa (Black cottonwood) x P. deltoides (Eastern cottonwood) with contrasting degrees of sylleptic branching are being studied. The rate of growth of the parent shoot and amount of sylleptic branching are measured periodically. Preliminary data shows that the fastest growing clone (47-174) has a low amount of sylleptic branching and the slowest growing clone (11-11) has a greater amount of sylleptic branching. This result indicates that an inverse relationship exists between the growth rate of parent shoot and the degree of sylleptic branching. Hormonal and nutritional factors which probably play a role in this response will be investigated.

Board 04 FOOD LIMITATION AS AN INFLUENCE ON THE POPULATION DYNAMICS AND DEMOGRAPHY OF MICROTUS PENNSYLVANICUS POPULATIONS LIVING IN A HIGHLY DISTURBED HABITAT. John W. Doudna,, Christopher D. Bodnar, Christina R. Wampler, (James L. Dooley Jr.,, Muskingum College, 163 Stormont St., New Concord OH 43762.

We are comparing population dynamics and demography of meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) populations distributed across a series of habitats that were sequentially disturbed through the 1970s and 1980s by strip-mining activities. Preliminary data suggested that population sizes and recruitment rates were lower than would have been anticipated within less disturbed habitats. We are testing the hypothesis that Microtus populations living in formerly strip-mined habitats are food limited. We established four 40 by 40 meter plots at each of two locations within our study site. On each plot we established a 5 x 5 array of live-trapping stations. In addition, at each site food supplementation stations were established on two randomly selected plots. We have used standard mark-recapture protocol for either three or four days each month since June in order to compare population performance of Microtus within and between sites. Results thus far suggest that both sites are able to support Microtus populations. However, population size and demography vary greatly among different study sites. Nonetheless, we have seen little difference in population size and demography between food supplemented and non- supplemented plots within sites, suggesting that population performance is unlikely solely limited by food availability.


A variety of studies have addressed winter bird foraging preferences at human-made feeders but relatively few have examined two or more factors concomitantly that might influence foraging frequency and the amount of food consumed. The objective of this research will be to address how feeder height and distance of the feeder from the nearest forest edge will influence foraging frequency by various winter passerine and woodpecker species at feeders in southeastern Ohio. My hypothesis is that birds will prefer to forage at the higher feeders situated closest to the forest edge. This study will be conducted from early January through early February 2001 on a reclaimed stripmine (The Wilds) in Muskingum Co., Ohio. Three units of observation each consisting of 3 pairs of feeders, will be employed in this study. Each feeder in a given pair at a particular unit of observation will be placed at one of two heights (2 and 4 meters), and at one of three distances from the forest edge (5, 10 and 20 meters). Each of the three units of observation (consisting of 6 feeders) will be a minimum of 100 m apart along the forest edge. Each unit of observation will be observed for a minimum of 5 hours/week between 0700 and 1000 to determine which bird species attend the feeders, and all feeders will be filled twice daily so that the amount of black oil sunflower seeds consumed may be quantified. Temperature, precipitation and wind speed will be recorded during each day in the field.


Relatively few nest box studies have examined how habitat features at the landscape and regional levels potentially influence bluebird and tree swallow nest-box use. From late-April through mid-August 2000, I monitored 36 nest boxes on a reclaimed stripmine (the Wilds) and 24 nest boxes in a residential area and on unmined farmland. At each box I measured 10 local habitat features (in a circle with a 3 m radius around the box), 8 landscape features (in a circle with a 50 m radius around the box), and noted whether the box was situated on a reclaimed stripmine or not (regional level). Logistic regression analyses revealed that the presence of water and forest edge at the landscape level were significant predictors of nest box occupancy of bluebirds (P [is less than] 0.05), and that the percentage of grass and herbaceous growth around the nest box (local level) also significantly predicted the presence of bluebirds (P [is less than] 0.05). The reproductive success of eastern bluebirds (numbers of nestlings fledged) on the reclaimed stripmine was significantly less than those which nested on unmined areas (P [is less than] 0.001). Logistic regression analyses revealed a significant positive association between tree swallows and box type at the local level (P [is less than] 0.05), and tree swallows and the presence of a fence at the landscape level (P [is less than] 0.05). These data suggest that certain landscape and regional features most likely influence bluebird and swallow nest use and reproductive success.

Board 07 SIMPLIFYING CLASSIFICATION CHARACTERISTICS FOR SPASMONEME BEARING, CONTRACTILE, COLONIAL PERITRICHIA. Jennifer A. Tieche,, (Kerry Cheeseman), Capital University, 4285 S. St. Rte. 605 Galena OH 43021.

For several years this author has worked under the assumption that there was no simple field method to perform lab and field classifications, differentiating the genera/ species of the spasmoneme bearing contractile, colonial members of Peritrichia, specifically of the ciliates -- Carchesium and Zoothamnium. After more than four years of research in which attempts to identify what appeared to be different members of these contractile colonial ciliates, which appeared year-round and at different periods during the year in a stream in central Ohio a serious re-evaluation was performed of previously accumulated data from available reference sources and personal research notes and microphotographs. There are obvious differences in the structure, appearance, and mobility of the colonies, which are representative of differences in their species and/or genera. In th is current year's research, a matrix of simplified lab and field characteristics for initial classification of the ciliate colonies was developed. An expansion of previously developed minute characteristics was undertaken. Together these two schemes have furthered the ability to identify the spasmoneme bearing, contractile, colonial ciliates appearing in central Ohio.

Board 08 GENETIC ANALYSIS OF AMBYSTOMA MACULATUM AND AMBYSTOMA TEXANUM POPULATIONS IN STRATFORD NATURE PRESERVE USING RAPD MARKERS. Joshua J. Obar,, (Marten J. Edwards,, and Sally M. Waterhouse,, Ohio Wesleyan University, HWCC Box 822, Delaware OH 43015.

Over the past 40 years amphibian populations worldwide have been in a gradual decline. This decline in populations and population sizes could have considerable effects on the genetic structure of amphibian populations, such as decreased genetic diversity or restricted intraspecies genetic flow. Within Stratford Nature Preserve (Delaware, Ohio) there are two wetland ponds, 0.4824 ha and 0.2425 ha respectively, which support Ambystoma maculatum and Ambystoma texanum populations. Intraspecies genetic flow between the ponds has not been demonstrated. Restricted intraspecies genetic flow could be a result of breeding site fidelity or construction in surrounding areas. If intraspecies genetic flow is restricted, the genetic diversity of the two-wetland ponds should differ because they support breeding populations of different sizes. To investigate the genetic structure of these populations, RAPD-PCR methodology is being used on DNA isolated from toe clippings from both species of salamanders.


Recently primers have been developed for a mitochondrial spacer region between the COX2 and COX3 genes that has shown promise for intraspeciflc studies of marine red algae. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the utility of this region for phylogenetic and population level studies within the freshwater red algal order Batrachospermales. Sequence data were obtained from Sirodotia huillensis, Tuomeya americana, Batrachospermum boryanum, B. macrosporum and B. helminthosum to assess genetic variation among taxa. Ten populations (3 Ohio and 1 each from Tennessee, North Carolina, Louisiana, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Michigan) of Batrachospermum helminthosum were sequenced to evaluate intraspecific genetic variation. The length of the spacer region varied greatly among taxa but appears to be invariant within a species. Alignment among taxa was easily distinguishable for the first third of the spacer, but was unobtainable in the last two-thirds near the COX3 gene, making the utility of this region for phylogenetic studies of distantly related taxa questionable. Analysis showed the sequence length for all B. helminthosum individuals was 370 base pairs, of which numerous sites were variable but only few changes were parsimoniously informative. There were at least six different haplotypes among the populations, yet no geographic trends were evident from the analysis.

Board 10 BIOMASS OF HYDROPONICALLY GROWN TREE SEEDLINGS TREATED WITH COPPER. Tamekia L. Taylor, (Cadance Lowell,, Central State University, Dept. Natural Sciences and Mathematics, P.O. Box 1004, Wilberforce OH 45384-1004.

Heavy metals such as copper, cobalt, nickel and zinc can be major industrial pollutants of soil. With that in mind, the objective for this study was to establish Threshold Limit Values (TLV) for the micronutrient copper in four tree species, green ash, white ash, red oak, and sycamore. These are typical tree species grown on coal reclamation sites suggesting that they survive under harsh growing conditions and might be candidates for phytoremediation. A flood and drain hydroponic system was set up in the Central State University greenhouse. Deionized water was added/ drained weekly and a complete nutrient solution with increasing concentrations of copper was added biweekly, after-the first month of deionized water only. The system consisted of 20 large Rubbermaid containers filled with perlite. Thirty-three green ash, 33 red oak, 27 sycamore, and 27 white ash one-year seedlings were randomly planted with six trees per container. The trees were allowed to grow for five months in the hydroponic system. To evaluate growth and survival tree height, basal diameter, leaf chlorophy content, and aboveground biomass were taken. From the data gathered, we have concluded that copper tolerance decreased in order for the tree species from red oak, green ash, white ash, to sycamore. Currently, we are evaluating the concentration of copper found in the seedling leaves.

Board 11 A GENETIC COMPARISON OF LYTHRUM SALICARIA AND LYTHRUM VIGRATUM. Sara F. Walker,, James Amon,, Dan E. Krane,, Wright State University, Biological Sciences Department, Dayton OH 45435.

Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is an emergent plant of European origin. L. salicaria arrived with European settlers along the northeastern coast in the early 19th century and has spread across mid-latitude North America wetlands. The bisexual flowers of purple loosestrife are insect-pollinated and are capable of self-pollination. The plants can produce more than two million seeds per growing season and seed dispersal is largely by drift in moving waters. Erratic spread can also be possible by introduction as a forage plant or by accidental escape from horticultural planting. The impact of purple loosestrife on vegetation has been substantial and has caused numerous states (including Ohio) to ban its cultivation. Affected areas also experience serious reductions in waterfowl diversity and aquatic productivity. A newly introduced species (Lythrun vigratum) that has many similarities to that of L. salicaria is currently being propagated and sold commercially, despite bans regarding L. salicaria. We employ tissue extraction and RAPD PCR to address the question of relatedness and gene flow between L. salicaria and L. vigratum. A total of 29 L. salicaria and 4 L. salicaria specimens have been obtained from throughout the state of Ohio. High quality genomic DNA has been isolated from each of these samples and analyzed with two primers in RAPD PCR. Of the 33 samples obtained, 12 profiles have been compared to this point. Whole sufficient genetic variation exists to allow unique identification of each individual, distinguishing differences can be seen between L. salicaria and L. vigratum populations.

Board 12 INTERACTION BETWEEN MONILINIA VACCINII-CORYMBOSl CONIDIA AND BLUEBERRY POLLEN. Heather A. Richard,, Carl G. Gelfius, and Jeffrey S. Lehman., Otterbein College, Department of Life Science, Westerville OH 43081.

Spores of many floral-infecting fungi are transmitted by pollinators and deposited on the stigma, where they germinate and grow along with pollen. As a result of their proximity, fungal spores may interact with pollen and greatly influence host ecology and evolution. This study addresses the interaction between asexual spores (conidia) of Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi and blueberry pollen. Germination of pollen and conidia was measured on the surface of agar plugs and on the stigma of detached flowers. Surfaces were seeded with a pollen/conidia mixture ranging from 0% pollen and 100% conidia to 100% pollen and 0% conidia. Pollen and conidia were allowed to germinate, and growth was recorded under brightfield or UV-florescence microscopy. Polystryene spheres (25 and 45 mm) were used in additional germination studies to mimic conidia and pollen. The relationship between pollen germination and amount of conidia deposited was significant (P=0.002); germination of pollen was negatively correlated with percentage conidia (r=0.13). Conversely, pollen germination was not influenced by increasing percentage of 25 mm polystryene spheres (P=0.17). The relationship between conidia germination and pollen concentration was significant (P=0.001); conidia germination was negatively correlated with percentage pollen (r=0.17). Germination of conidia was not influenced by the increasing percentage of 40 mm polystryene spheres (P=0.17). The results show that blueberry pollen and M. vaccinii-corymbosi conidia compete with each other during germination and that the amount of pollen and conidia may greatly influence subsequent seed set and disease development.

Board 13 NATURAL ESTABLISHMENT OF CONIFER SEEDLINGS ON THE MUDDY RIVER MUDFLOW, MOUNT ST. HELENS, WASHINGTON. Jessica R. Miesel(1), Jeffrey S. Lehman(1), and Peter M. Frenzen(2), (1) Otterbein College, Department of Life and Earth Sciences, Westerville OH 43081 and (2) USDA Forest Service.

The eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980 drastically altered the surrounding environment. Mudflows, fed by melting glaciers, obliterated a one km wide strip of forest in the Muddy River valley on the mountain's southern slopes. The objective of this study is to record natural establishment of conifer seedlings on a mudflow deposit over a 10-year period following the eruption. Tree height, diameter, and species were recorded for individually tagged seedlings in two 50 ' 50 m plots in 1990, 1991, 1994, and 1999. Data for tree height, diameter, frequency, and density were analyzed using ANOVA. Abies procera was the most abundant species in all years except 1994, when Pseudotsuga menziesii was most abundant. Stem density decreased as distance from the adjacent, undisturbed forest increased. Total stem density in: creased between all years except between 1994 and 1999, when a significant decrease was observed. Pinus monticola seedlings exhibited the greatest growth rates per year, with mean [+ or -] s.d. values of 6.10 [+ or -] 2.5 and 2.53 [+ or -] 1.6 for height (cm) and diameter (mm) respectively. Pseudotsuga menziesii, Tsuga heterophylla, and Abies procera exhibited smaller relative growth rates, with mean [+ or -] s.d. of 3.89 [+ or -] 4.9, 2.90 [+ or -] 1.1, and 2.00 [+ or -] 2.4 for height and 1.52 [+ or -] 0.9, 1.13 [+ or -] 0.4, and 1.05 [+ or -] 0.3 for diameter. Results illustrate the dynamics of seedling establishment and growth in early development of a sub-alpine forest following a mudflow disturbance.

Board 14 EFFECT OF MOWING ON PHOTOSYNTHETIC RATES OF AN HERBACEOUS COMMUNITY. Lisa A. Bucci, bucci, and Fardad Firouznia,, Denison University, Department of Biology, Granville OH 43023.

Altering the source:sink ratio by shading leaves or removing sinks can lead to changes in photosynthetic rates due to physiological changes. Indiscriminate mowing or grazing can remove both sources and sinks, and it is not apparent how either may affect photosynthetic rates. This study aimed to determine the effect of mowing on photosynthetic rates of an herbaceous community. We hypothesized that mowing leads to increased photosynthetic rates per unit leaf area but not per unit land area. Two adjacent plots of equal size were chosen. The first was mowed in fall 1999 while the second was mowed in spring 2000. Photosynthetic rates per unit leaf area were measured using a Li-6200 photosynthesis meter during the summer 2000. Solar radiation, leaf area index (LAI), soil water content ([[Theta].sub.v]), and leaf water potential ([[Psi].sub.leaf]) were also measured. Our results show that photosynthetic rates in the second plot were significantly higher than those in the first by 26% (p [is less than] 0.0001). This was not significantly affected by solar radiation, time of day, or sampling day. There were no significant differences in [[Psi].sub.leaf] or [[Theta].sub.v]. The first plot had a greater LAI as expected (39%). The greater photosynthetic rates observed are due to physiological changes in the remaining leaves of the mowed plants. However, the overall photosynthetic rate per unit land area might be greater in the older plot. Therefore, indiscriminate mowing or grazing may increase photosynthetic rate per unit leaf area but decrease photosynthetic rate per unit land area.

Board 15 HOME RANGES OF NERITA PELORONTA AND NERITA VESSICOLOR ON SAN SALVADOR, THE BAHAMAS. Abbie L. Watson,, (Timothy L. Lewis,, Wittenberg University, Biology Department, P.O. Box 720, Springfield OH 45501.

Bleeding tooth (Nerita peloronta) and four-toothed nerites (Nerita versicolor) snails inhabit surf zones of rocky shores of southeast Florida and the West Indies, both feeding on alga growing on the substrate. There are no apparent differences in movement patterns nor habitats occupied between either species of snail. To test for species variations, we marked approximately 50 snails each year (30 N. versicolor and 20 N. peloronta) in 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2000 and recorded their locations over 2-week intervals several times daily. The study site was a vertical, north-facing rock wall. Variables such as tide, weather, sun exposure, and human traffic were considered. Data were analyzed using CALHOME home range software, calculating 95% and 50% minimum convex polygons and 95% and 50% adaptive kernels. Our results indicated that the bleeding tooth nerites had significantly larger home ranges in all categories than the four-toothed nerites. Spring tides and harsh weather caused all snails to move upward to less exposed positions. The snails differed in home range size and therefore likely feed differentially.

Board 16 VARIATIONS OF BEACH TRASH ACCUMULATION ALONG THE COASTLINE OF SAN SALVADOR, THE BAHAMAS. Jen Davis,, Betsy Beymer, Courtney Paul (Tim Lewis, Wittenberg University, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 720, Springfield OH 45501.

Accumulation of anthropogenic marine trash on beaches around the world has many adverse organismal effects including starvation, infection, and strangulation. In order to help assess potential negative effects and predict human impacts on these areas, studies recording the amount and type of trash present are necessary. We studied marine trash accumulation on two San Salvador beaches in 1994, 1998 and 2000. The research site consisted of one or two 300-meter by 30-meter areas on beaches facing the Antilles Current. We visually searched for trash and tarballs, and categorized the trash according to size and material. The beach trash accumulation was 101.1 pieces/km/day in 1994, 86.8 pieces/km/day in 1998, and 582.9 pieces/km/day in 2000 (212,000 pieces/km annually). We found that the rate of trash accumulation on San Salvador is high and is increasing. This accumulated trash could potentially cause a rapid decrease in the quality of ecological habitats and the biodiversity of organisms that inhabit those areas.

Board 17 CHANGES IN THE CORAL-ALGAE EQUILIBRIUM ON PATCH REEFS, SAN SALVADOR ISLAND, THE BAHAMAS. K. A. Zander,, M. K. Mann,, and T. L. Lewis, Wittenberg University, Biology Department, Springfield OH 45501.

The coral reef community is a complex ecosystem in which algae and coral are the codominant organisms. However, environmental factors and stochastic events can contribute to changes in the balance between algal and coral species on the reef. Observation of the reef ecosystem of the coast of San Salvador Island, The Bahamas, indicated a disturbance in the coral-algae balance which favored algal dominance on the reefs; therefore, data were collected in alternating years between 1980 and 2000 recording the number of algae, coral, and other species living on representative portions of the shallow water patch reefs. The data was collected by placing a line intercept transect on various sections of the reefs and counting every organism. A Shannon-Weaver Diversity Index value was calculated for each year in addition to the percentage of coral and algae found on each reef. The diversity at Sand Dollar increased overall from 1.80 to 2.38 with large fluctuations between years, and the percentage of algae increased by 2.49% and coral decreased by 0.6% The diversity at Barkers Point increased steadily from 2.10 to 2.50. Also at this reef the percentage of algae decreased 4.59% and coral rose 7.63%. Algae were the dominant organisms on both reefs throughout the twenty years of data collection, while increasing and decreasing trends seem to be reef specific.

Board 18 VARIATIONS IN QUANTITIES AND TYPES OF TRASH ACCUMULATION ON TWO BEACHES ON SAN SALVADOR, THE BAHAMAS. Carlton F. Studlar, (Timothy L. Lewis,, Wittenberg University, Department of Biology, Springfield OH 45501.

Anthropogenic trash has adverse effects on marine organisms including entanglement, inhibition of digestive functions, and strangulation. Studies recording the amount and type of trash present help assess potential negative impacts, and allow for projections of the human impacts on these areas. From 28 May to 10 June 2000 we compared both the initial and newly-accumulated marine trash on the south and east sides of San Salvador, The Bahamas, using 300 meter survey areas. The southern beach exhibited a higher initial count of garbage (5287 pieces/km) than the east facing beach (3967 pieces/km). The rate of accumulation for the southern beach was 216 pieces/km/day, compared to 131 pieces/km/day on the eastern one. We attributed the greater accumulation at the southern study site to the Antilles Current, which sweeps northward at San Salvador. The similar composition of the garbage on the study areas, including the discovery of similar intravenous bags at both locations, strongly suggests that the beaches are accruing their refuse from the same sources. The totals were extremely high compared to those from The Center For Marine Conservation's 1998 U.S. Coastal Cleanup, which had 479 pieces/km.

Board 19 THE EFFECTS OF TIDE CHANGES ON PHYLUM DIVERSITY IN BAHAMIAN INTERTIDAL POOLS. Kelly A. Riedinger,, and Elizabeth R. Miller,, Wittenberg University, Biology Department, PO Box 720, Springfield OH 45501-0702.

Marine intertidal pool organisms endure wide environmental fluctuations in salinity, temperature, moisture, and predation. As the tide varies throughout the day, the organisms should show patterns of movement related to environmental parameters and stresses. We studied the diversity of Mollusca, Chordata, and Arthropoda that populated 9 tide pools on 3 beaches in correlation with the changing of high and low tides on the island of San Salvador, The Bahamas. We calculated the Shannon-Weaver Index for species diversity (H') over a three-week period. Within the three phyla observed, we found average high tide H' value = 0.351 (n=27), and the low tide H' = 0.425 (n=30). Additionally, mollusks high tide H' = 1.183 (n=27), and the low tide H' = 1.270 (n=30). From these data, we concluded that slight, non-significant changes in species diversity existed within the phyla between low and high tide. This indicates that factors other than tide change, such as reproductive habits, feeding patterns, and pool size, may be the cause of diversity fluctuation within the tide pools at certain times.

Board 20 EFFICACY OF SEARCH TECHNIQUES USED IN TURTLE RESEARCH. Erin M. Shockey,, (Timothy L. Lewis,, Wittenberg University, Department of Biology, Springfield OH 45501.

Methods of estimating turtle population size are dependent upon the efficacy of capture techniques. Researchers often debate these estimation methods but virtually ignore the capture techniques behind them. Two capture techniques that are common to this field are random and systematic sweep searches. We evaluated these search techniques using a known population of spotted turtles (Clemmys guttata)in a fen, including several with radio transmitters for a comparison index. Search teams of 1 to 14 individuals then used the search techniques to locate turtles. Observations made thus far indicate that individual search quality shows a marked improvement after an individual's first encounter with the recovery of a turtle and continues to improve with experience. Random searches are somewhat more productive than sweep searches, with an average of 1.3 turtles recovered per individual search hour as compared to 0.9 turtles for the sweep search. Smaller search groups (1-2 individuals) are more productive than on a per-person basis than large search groups (up to 14 individuals), with turtles recovered per individual search hour averaging 1.75 and 0.3, respectively, for the random search and 1.3 and 0.007, respectively, for the sweep search technique. Preliminary results indicate that random searches conducted by small search groups are most efficient for turtle capture.

Board 21 GENETIC CHARACTERIZATION OF NifM POINT MUTATION PRESENT IN THE KLEBSIELLA PNEUMONIA UN1654. N. Affara,, L. Pulakat and N. Gavini, Bowling Green State University, Department of Biological Sciences, Bowling Green OH 43403.

The role of nifM gene product in the maturation of the nitrogenase system is not yet clearly understood. Our homology search analysis indicated that the C-terminal domain of the NifMs from different nitrogen fixing bacteria share high homology with the peptidyl-prolyl cis.trans isomerases (PPlases). Klebsiella pneumonia strain UN1654 was previously isolated by chemical mutagenesis and it was found to be defective in nitrogen fixation. Genetic mapping analysis combined with 2-D gel electrophoretic analysis of the total proteins from this strain showed that the defect is located in the nifM locus on K. pneumonia chromosome. To identify the specific location of this defect, we isolated the nifM gene from this strain. Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed a substitution of Ser173 of the NifM ORF by an asparagine. To determine if the corresponding amino acid in the Azotobacter vinelandii NifM, Thr195, is essential for the functions of that protein, we replaced it with an asparagine by site directed mutagenesis and integrated the resulting mutated nifM into a nifM A. vinelandii strain, BG98. Failure of this mutated nifM to complement the Nif phenotype of A. vinelandii BG98 suggested that the replacing the conserved amino acid (at position in 173 K. pneumoniae and at position in 195 in A. vinelandii) with asparagine, in the region of the protein that is highly homologous to PPlases, abolishes the functions of both NifM proteins.

Board 22 ISOLATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF A SECOND SITE COMPENSATORY MUTATION IN AZOTOBACTER VINELANDII UW97. F. Kobeissy,, B. Wex, S. Nash, N. Affara, L. Pulakat and N. Gavini, Bowling Green State University, Department of Biological Sciences, Bowling Green OH 43403.

Azotobacter vinelandii UW97 is incapable of diazotrophic growth due to a specific mutation in the nifH. This mutation replaces serine by phenylalanine rendering the protein incapable of its functions. The loss of function is possibly due to a conformational disruption of the second conserved domain. In theory this disruption impairs the ability of the protein to attain the proper conformation to interact with the MoFe protein and other accessory proteins. We have isolated a genetic mutant of A. vinelandii UW97, designated A. vinelandii strain BG1402, which regained the property of diazotrophic growth. Further analyses by nucleotide sequencing and genetic complementation showed that the A. vinelandii strain BG1402 retained the original mutation at Ser44Phe, however, acquired a suppressor mutation at residue 68, where a glutamic acid was replaced by lysine. This resulted in an alteration of the size as well as polarity of the side chain of the residue at this position. The amino acid 68 is located at the very verge of the dinitrogenase reductase docking-site to the Mofe protein and therefore implicated in the stabilization of the interaction between these two proteins. Further investigation revealed that the single mutation Glu68Lys on wild type dinitrogenase reductase rendered the protein functional, however slightly impaired. The purification and characterization of these altered proteins revealed the mechanism of the suppressor mutation involving conformational changes during the nitrogenase complex formation.

Board 23 ROLE OF C-TERMINAL CYTOPLASMIC DOMAIN OF THE ANGIOTENSIN II RECEPTOR AT2 IN ITS FUNCTIONS. A. Gray,, J. Johnson, (N. Gavini, L. Pulakat), Bowling Green State University, Department of Biological Sciences, Bowling Green OH 43403.

Angiotensin II (Ang II) has long been recognized as an important component of the neuroendocrine control of cardiovascular function. The two-receptor subtypes of Ang II, AT1 and AT2, share structural similarity (both are proteins with seven transmembrane topology) and 34% identity at amino acid level. Our attempts to identify cellular proteins that directly interact with the AT2 and mediate its signaling lead us to discover two new protein-protein interactions, the first between the AT2 and the ErbB2/ErbB3receptors and the second between the AT2 and an NHE isoform. A region of the AT2 that spans the 3rd intracellularloop and the C-terminal cytoplasmic region was shown to be needed for these interactions. To determine the exact role of C-terminal cytoplasmic domain in the functions of the AT2, we constructed a truncated AT2 in which a stop codon was introduced at position 328 by PCR mutagenesis. This resulted in generating a receptor that has lost the C-terminal cytoplasmic domain. The ligand-binding properties of this receptor were analyzed by expressing in Xenopus oocytes. Our results show that the truncated AT2 receptor could bind both CGP42112A and Angiotensin II with affinity similar to that of the wild type. Experiments are now in progress to determine if the truncated receptor can retain the ability to interact with the ErbB2/ErbB3receptors and NHE isoform in yeast two-hybrid protein-protein interaction assay.

Board 24 INVESTIGATIONS ON THE ROLE OF nifM IN NITROGENASE ACTIVITY BY UTILIZING MUTANT KLEBSIELLA PNEUMONIAE (UN1851). N.M. Daniels,, L. Pulakat and N. Gavini, Bowling Green State University, Department of Biological Sciences, Bowling Green OH 43403.

It was proposed that the NifM may be involved in generating an active Fe-protein of the nitrogenase system. To understand the exact role played by the NifM and to identify the essential region on the NifM for its activity, we have made use of the mutant Klebsiella pneumoniae UN 1851, which was generated by chemical mutagenesis. In this strain, the mutation was genetically mapped to nifM allele and the strain is defective in nitrogen fixation. We have cloned the nifM gene from K. pneumoniae strain UN1851 and subjected to nucleotide sequence analysis. We found a single change in the glycine codon 213, which is converted to a serine codon. ClustalW alignment of the deduced amino acid sequence of NifM from various nitrogen fixing organisms revealed the presence of a conserved corresponding glycine at position 235 in Azotobacter vinelandii NifM sequence. Site directed mutagenesis was employed to change glycine 235 to serine and this was confirmed by DNA sequencing. The plasmid carrying mutated A. vinelandii nifM was introduced into A. vinelandii cells that contain a kanamycin resistance marker gene in the nifM coding sequencing on the chromosome. The cells were grown on Burk's Nitrogen-Free plates and exhibited no growth. This result indicated that the mutation is located in a functionally important region of the NifM. Moreover, taken together, these results also suggested that the conserved glycine in the c-terminal regions of A. vinelandii NifM and K. pneumoniae NifM is essential for the enzyme activity of the NifM to generate active Fe protein.

Board 25 EFFECTS OF CHROMIUM PICCOLINATE (CP) ON INSULIN LEVELS AND MORRIS WATER MAZE PERFORMANCE IN RATS. Andrea M. Dvorak, (Beth B. Pritts, prittsbb(, LeMoyne College, Department of Biology, Syracuse NY 13214.

Chromium Piccolinate (CP) is a dietary supplement that is reported to increase energy, promote weight loss, and build muscle mass. This experiment was designed to test the effect of CP on the performance of rats in the Morris water maze (MVVM). The experiment will be completed by orally administering CP to Sprague Dawley rats from Charles River Laboratories; these will be divided into two treatment groups, the control and experimental swimmers. The MWM will be used to assess the effect of this supplement on behavior. This maze consists of a molded plastic pool with a podium, filled with opaque water (colored by white non-toxic poster paint) so that the podium cannot be seen. Rats will be placed at the far end of the pool and time will also be measured until the rat reaches the podium; the behavior of the rat in the pool will be observed. Since the supplement is reported to enhance energy levels, the expected outcome of this part of the experiment is to see faster times in the experimental rats compared to controls. The insulin levels will be tested by radioimmunoassay, which measures specific hormone binding. A gamma counter (Titertek) will be utilized to perform the radioimmunoassay. In addition the serum glucose levels will be measured and analyzed by an enzymatic chromagen method and spectrometry. The final part of the experiment is to measure the liver, kidney and muscle protein levels by a Lowry assay and to record an organ mass.

Board 26 THE PRODUCTIVITY OF CORN-LEGUME INTERCROPPING IN NORTHEAST OHIO. Aaron R. Harnar, (Prudy Hall, Matt Hils Hiram College, Hiram OH 44234.

The practice of intercropping two crop species has the potential to increase farmland productivity. In this study, the dried biomass of Zea mays plants when interseeded by a hand seeder with the supplementary nitrogen-fertilizing legume Trifolium hybridium, was compared with the dried biomass of maize plants from monocrop cultivation. Monocrop and intercrop treatments were randomly assigned within an experimental plot containing Ellsworth silt loam of less than 6% slope. Under monocrop and intercrop conditions, Z. mays was planted in either 18 inch (46 cm) or 36 inch (91 cm) rows at 45000, 50200, and 63500 kernels per hectare. The above ground maize biomass from these six planting arrangements was measured from the six replicate monocrop and intercrop maize sites 75 days after planting. Each replicate plot contained 500 [m.sup.2] with the maize planted in 20 m rows. The dried Z. mays biomass of all planting arrangements for both cropping practices was compared statistically using a univariate analysis of variance. The results from this study show a depression in intercrop Z, mays biomass significant at p=.01 when compared to monocrop Z. mays biomass. The cause of decreased intercropped Z. mays biomass may have resulted from competition between the Z. mays and T. hybridium for limiting resources, such as water.

Board 27 THE INFLUENCE OF GROUP SIZE ON GROWTH RATES IN THE THERAPHOSID SPIDER HYSTEROCRATES GIGAS (ARANEAE, THERAPHOSIDAE). Melissa M. Varrecchia,, Vanessa A. Gorley,, and Samuel D. Marshall,, J. H. Barrow Field Station, 11305 Wheeler Rd, Garrettsville OH 44231.

Spiderlings of the theraphosid spider H. gigas were reared in groups of 1, 2, and 4 to examine the influence of social interactions on growth rates. This taxon was selected because observations made on captive populations indicate that Hysterocrates spp. tarantulas have an unusually high level of mutual tolerance and captive juveniles have been observed to feed cooperatively on large prey until several months old. Spiderlings from two different captive-produced clutches were used. The spiderlings were fed once a week on pre-killed crickets of a large enough size to ensure a superabundance of prey for all members of the group. No clear effect of group size on growth rates was found after examining growth rates for 12 weeks (through two successive molts). There was, however, a tendency for a greater asymmetry in growth rates for the dyads than in the tetrads. Cannibalism was only observed in one instance, in a tetrad. Feeding behavior and agonistic interactions were examined. No difference was found in the amount of time spent feeding between the different group sizes. A Pearson's r displayed a positive correlation between percent weight gain and hourly intervals observed feeding (singletons r = 0.498, p [is less than] 0.01; dyads r = 0.459, p [is less than] 0.01; tetrads r = 0.341, p [is less than] 0.01).

Board 28 LEADERSHIP BEHAVIOR IN WILD WHITE-TAILED DEER (ODOCOILEUS VIRGINIANUS) IN OHIO. I. C. Scott,, Ohio Department of Health, Bureau of Environmental Health and Toxicology, 8th Floor, 246 N. High St., Columbus OH 43266-0118.

The behavior of wild white-tailed deer in the area within one mile of the Alum Creek Dam, north of Columbus, Ohio, was studied. These deer ranged in a rural agricultural area and experienced seasonal hunting. Deer activities were studied during the September - November 2000 period, when doe, fawns, and antlered bucks were easily distinguishable. VHS recordings of forty groups of deer entering agricultural fields from wooded areas during their evening feeding periods were analyzed. Group size ranged from one to eight deer. Activities that were examined included the communication deer use in social situations such as sounds, snorting, foot stomping, flashing of the white hair on the rump, fighting, mating, gait, and noticing, orientating, or advancing toward a human presence. Leadership behavior was categorized by determining which deer was in the front position during the evening entry into the feeding area, which deer determined the direction taken by the group, which deer first noticed an observer, and which deer oriented toward the observer and stomped, snorted, or flashed its white rump hair. Antlered males were seen 1during 40% of the observations. Leadership behavior could be clearly observed in thirty-one groups including twelve groups, which contained both females and antlered males. Doe deer exhibited a significantly greater frequency of leadership behavior than did antlered buck or young deer in both those groups where behavior could be clearly observed and in those groups, which contained both doe and antlered buck deer.
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Publication:The Ohio Journal of Science
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2001

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